patella

noun
pa·​tel·​la | \ pə-ˈte-lə How to pronounce patella (audio) \
plural patellae\ pə-​ˈte-​(ˌ)lē How to pronounce patella (audio) , -​ˌlī How to pronounce patella (audio) \ or patellas

Definition of patella

: a thick flat triangular movable bone that forms the anterior point of the knee and protects the front of the joint : kneecap … the quadriceps are attached at the anterior and anterior lateral aspect of the patella and are extensors of the knee joint.— John B. Rizzotto … a few horses suffer from a slipping of the patella—the little bone on the front of the stifle that is similar to the human kneecap—locking the joint so that it cannot flex properly.— Heather Smith Thomas The human knee is specialized for walking upright too: to compensate for the thighbone's being at an angle, there's a lump, or groove, at the end of the femur that prevents the patella from sliding off the joint.— Michael D. Lemonick and Andrea Dorfman

Other Words from patella

patellar \ pə-​ˈte-​lər How to pronounce patella (audio) \ adjective

Examples of patella in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Kaminsky missed Phoenix's final 33 games of the 2019-20 season with a right patella stress fracture before the season was put on hold March 11, 2020 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 12 Nov. 2021 Kuminga strained the patella tendon in his right knee Oct. 6 and will be reevaluated Oct. 22, according to the team. Rusty Simmons, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Oct. 2021 The forward suffered an avulsion fracture in his right knee involving the right patella tendon on May 16 in Chicago. Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 June 2021 Jonathan Kuminga, the seventh overall pick in this year’s draft, will miss the rest of training camp and will likely be sidelined for the final three preseason games with a strained right patella tendon, according to the team. Rusty Simmons, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Oct. 2021 Tellez, who is coming off a right patella strain, played two games with Class AAA Nashville and rejoined the team here, getting activated Saturday. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3 Oct. 2021 The Jets announced later in the day that Lawson had ruptured his Achilles tendon while Lewis had torn his patella tendon and sprained his medial collateral ligament. Steve Megargee, ajc, 20 Aug. 2021 Mark McGwire, unable to play the field due to patella tendinitis in his right knee, hit first, grounded to shortstop and came out of St. Louis' game at Pittsburgh on Sept. 12, 2000. Larry Fleisher, Star Tribune, 22 May 2021 He was ruled out with right patella tendon soreness, leaving Milwaukee with just seven players the rest of the game. Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'patella.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of patella

1634, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for patella

Latin, from diminutive of patina shallow dish

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Time Traveler for patella

Time Traveler

The first known use of patella was in 1634

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Last Updated

20 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Patella.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/patella. Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for patella

patella

noun

English Language Learners Definition of patella

patella

noun
pa·​tel·​la | \ pə-ˈte-lə How to pronounce patella (audio) \
plural patellae\ -​ˈte-​lē , -​ˈte-​ˌlī \ or patellas

Kids Definition of patella

patella

noun
pa·​tel·​la | \ pə-ˈtel-ə How to pronounce patella (audio) \
plural patellae\ -​ˈtel-​(ˌ)ē How to pronounce patella (audio) , -​ˌī How to pronounce patella (audio) \ or patellas

Medical Definition of patella

: a thick flat triangular movable bone that forms the anterior point of the knee, protects the front of the joint, increases the leverage of the quadriceps, and is usually regarded as a sesamoid bone since it is developed in the tendon of the quadriceps and in structure is similar to other sesamoid bones

called also kneecap, kneepan

Other Words from patella

patellar \ -​ər How to pronounce patella (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on patella

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about patella

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